Valiant Entertainments’s new supernatural series The Death-Defying Dr Mirage #1 looks set to take the publisher of X-O Manowar and Harbinger in a bold and exciting new direction. But is Dr Mirage a miraculous new arrival on the scene or just another troublesome ghostly manifestation?!
If you’re familiar with the praise Jen Van Meter has received for her writing work in the past, but never read her work, this #1 is the perfect introduction to her work – and wow, what an introduction?! he Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 is a tremendously well-written book with a fluid, intricate, and intriguing story, which is never difficult to follow. With this book being the introduction of these characters for a large part of the comic book reading audience, it does a great job as an origin tale while keeping pace. If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Mirage, you could pick up the original series, but the tone here is much more serious and emotional, and the story much more engrossing.
in this first issue, Shan, the titular Dr. Mirage, has the power to contact the dead. She’s in a bad place financially, and uses her powers to make ends meet, but just barely: her husband is dead, and her home is nearing foreclosure. As the book starts, she agrees to do a job contacting the loved ones of a group of widows, a job she reluctantly takes because she is still hurting from the loss of her husband. Interestingly, while she can contact the dead, her husband is not among those she can contact, starting an interesting mystery. As the book comes to a close, Shan picks up a large paying job, I believe partly due to some clues received by a mysterious stranger that may help her find her husband.
Dr. Mirage is clearly not just another superhero book, and we love that. For fans of books like The Wicked + The Divine, Outcast, of Devilers, you are in familiar territory here and the closest book to this in the Valiant universe is Shadowman which has definitely had it’s issues throughout its run. In fact, this book does a much better job a horror and suspense than that book ever did, and we are reveling in it as a result.
One of our favourite features of the recent Valiant output is how well the artists’ styles fit the book they are penciling, and there is no better choice than Roberto De La Torre for Dr. Mirage. His style perfectly suits the haunting landscape and tortured characters which Van Meter has written, and the character designs are great change of pace from much of the rest of the Valiant universe.